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Interview

Nicomatic Turkey Brings Value Added Expertise to the Nicomatic Group

In an exclusive interview, Nicomatic Chairman of the Board Oliver NICOLLIN and Nicomatic Turkey Managing Director İdris DUMLU discuss the impressive performance of Nicomatic Turkey and the target in the next 5 years to produce world-known products designed and integrated in Turkey. By focusing on elements of speed, quality, cost and flexibility the company is the partner of choice for more than 500 leading companies all around the world

Defence Turkey: Dear Mr. NICOLLIN, Nicomatic is a French family SME business that was founded by Paul NICOLLIN in 1976 and the company has been manufacturing a wide range of connectors for use in the Aerospace & Defence Industry, Medical, Energy and Transportation markets since 1984. Could you please briefly inform us about your product range, solution partners, subsidiaries, the capacity and capability of your facility based in France?

Oliver NICOLLIN: For more than 40 years, Nicomatic Group has been designing and manufacturing creative interconnect solutions for harsh environments such as Defence, Avionics, Space, Medical, Energy and Transportation markets.

Nicomatic Group is a recognized player in the connector field specializing in niche markets with easy to use miniaturized modular micro connectors solutions for harsh environments. Our product ranges have been designed and produced according to Military standards (MIL 55302 / MIL 83513 / EN4165) under the AS/EN 9100 aerospace and defence quality certificate to help customers to overtake new limits.

Thanks to our process, we offer more than 80 millions configurations to solve customers pain in a very short lead time (1 to 4 weeks)

From inside the electronic systems to the outside world, Nicomatic provides ITAR free, global interconnect solutions which help customers to meet their SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Performance and Cost) expectations.

Nicomatic Group is comprised of a total of ten subsidiaries in the following countries the US, China, India, UK, Germany, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Singapore & Canada as well as a vast network of sales representatives, agents and distributors that provide a sales presence in over 50 countries worldwide. The Headquarter is based in France at the Bons-en-Chablais site (Haute-Savoie) which is located a few kilometers from Geneva.

Two years ago, we extended our facility by adding 2 500 m2 to the existing 4 500 m2.

Nicomatic is growing and so is the building that will integrate new equipments, and a reorganized space for everyone as part of 100% in-house integration of our manufacturing, processes and tech center.

Today, all products are manufactured in-house with special expertise in stamping, molding, screw-machining, milling, assembly and cabling.

Nicomatic is a global connector specialist considered the partner of choice for more than 500 leading companies all around the world.

Defence Turkey: Nicomatic Group’s total turnover has reached €50 million and the total consolidated turnover 88% of this revenue came from export sales in 2018. What is your 2019 target for total turnover both for France and overseas sales?

Oliver NICOLLIN: 2018 was a great year for Nicomatic Group with some big projects won which mark the Nicomatic History. We target a long term growth by optimizing our current business positions and enlarging our activities (countries, markets, products) Engagement and innovation are key to sustain 2 digit growth and investment level for years to come. That’s why we are looking for a 20% growth to reach a total turn over of 60 millions euros.

Defence Turkey: Nicomatic Group allocates at least 20% of total turnover to R&D activities each year.  Furthermore, you possess over 20 patents in regard to your products. Can you provide some insight into your R&D activities?

Oliver NICOLLIN: R&D is key to our development, its first goal is to answer to customer problems with improved interconnect solutions.  We are proud to achieve more than 30% of our turn over with products that did not exist 3 years ago. Customers want useful innovations that provide value. Thanks to this metric, it seems that they trust our capacity.  From standard product modification to creative solution, we are able to accompany the customer into to this more demanding market by provifing the right solution at the right cost.  Thanks to this process, Nicomatic is part of the innovative companies.

Defence Turkey: Could you please inform us about your unique products utilized in military platforms and systems all over the world?

Oliver NICOLLIN: Our connectors can be found in many electronics  platforms where reliability and speed of information are key. Every time, you need intelligence in your systems, Nicomatic connectors will deliver the right value.  Space and airborne systems are the ones benefiting the most from our technology. Today we are working  in a brand new technology (Smart Connector) partenered with the CEA List Institute to develop & integrate into connectors a device able to detect & localize soft, hard & intermittent defaults in a complex wire network.

This device is based on an innovative technology that puts together reflectometry & communication. It is called Orthogonal Multi-tone Time Domain Reflectometry (OMTDR).

The expected benefits are numerous. The OMTDR technology will allow you to:

do preventive maintenance

quickly detect breakdowns in an electrical network

 By doing this, the OMTDR will also :

reduce the cost of ownership of aerial, ground or naval vehicles

increase the operational availability of these vehicles.

 Applications on the ground are directly linked to MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) phases, and to the FAL (Final Assembly Line). This technology mainly addresses military, avionics, missiles and space markets where complex electrical architectures are used.

In the meantime NICOMATIC and ECA Group (specialized in the design and integration of testing solutions for the aeronautics) are combining their know-how for the development of a new electrical testing solution for aerospace.

Defence Turkey: Nicomatic Group is comprised of a total of ten subsidiaries such as US, China, India, UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Canada  as well as Turkey. When you compare the total sales performance of your subsidiaries in 2018, which ones stand out? 

Oliver NICOLLIN: US and China subsidiaries have more than 20 years of experience in terms of design, manufacturing and sales. So they are on the top for performance.  However, when you compare the performance vs the experience we can definitely say that Turkey Subsidiary sales performance stands out.  Being one of the last opened subsidiaries (2014) Turkey has demonstrated very strong and fast growth.

2018 was a great year for Nicomatic Turkey in terms of sales, project and development.

More than a sales office, Nicomatic Turkey became a value-added subsidiary by doing cabling, connector assemblies, R&D, logistics, sales and marketing as well as technical support.

I’m always happy to see when subsidiaries like Nicomatic Turkey want to move forward by providing expertise to our existing product ranges and contribute to the growth of Nicomatic Group.

I take this opportunity to congratulate Nicomatic Turkey Managing Director Idris DUMLU  for his vision and energy as well as the entire Nicomatic Turkey team without whom all this will not have been possible.

Defence Turkey: Dear Mr. DUMLU, How did Nicomatic Turkey performed operationally in 2018?

İdris DUMLU: First of all, I have to say that the Republic of Turkey has shown great feat during 2018. Since 24 August 2016, Turkish military forces deployed in Northern Syria in order to establish peace and protect civilians with Operation Euphrates Shield. This year, we witnessed Olive Branch Operation by which Turkey seemed to be consistent and persistent.

As Nicomatic Turkey, we performed relatively well. Since the creation of Nicomatic Turkey (2014), we increase our operational efficiency each year by improving all of our processes (assembly, hiring, sales and communications, R&D…) that help the company achieve a target and meet the group strategy.

We have identified 4 main operational performance objectives : speed (fast delivery), quality (conform to specifications), costs (volume and variety of the products) and flexibility (adjust the product lines quickly to new requirements).

Thanks to this strategy, in 2018, we increased our sales by 60% compared to the previous year.

We also achieved teaming up closely with Turkey’s pioneers in the defence industry.

More than a sales offices, Nicomatic Turkey brings value added expertise to the group.

In the coming years, we hope to contribute to Turkey’s self-sufficient by all means and ways.

Defence Turkey: Can you describe the employment profile at Nicomatic Turkey? Would you like to share with us some aspects of your human resource strategy for the upcoming period?

İdris DUMLU: Nicomatic is recognized for its high-quality product and customer service. We act in a way that is socially, economically and environmentally responsible.  Priority is placed on well-being, health and security for all personnel. Our processes and methods rely on freedom and responsibility that allow employees to develop autonomy, self-direction and the creation of opportunities.

We value humans as human beings, not an asset that we can price. As you can see in our devise, “the human factor is key to success”. Our first goal was to build up young and dynamic teams who embrace innovation and respect local values. In addition, we always consider harmony and teamwork. Hence, we hired bright and talent people not only by taking into consideration genuine, but also by stressing individual character which means lot more than genius. For the upcoming years, we’re intending to hire intelligent and skilfull young engineers to be able to design new products which will be designed and produced in Turkey. The top management commitment is to apply a dynamic and innovative policy by involving the whole human, industrial and financial resources of the group.

The success is made through happy and responsible employees.

Defence Turkey: On November 28th, 2018, Nicomatic launched the unique 1mm connector that is planning to be assembled in the Nicomatic Turkey facility for use in military platforms and systems.  An announcement was made in that launch meeting that the facility will be operational within January 2019. Did you start the assembly and integration of this connector in this facility? 

İdris DUMLU: I have to say that we’re proud to honor our words. Since the beginning of the year we extended our Ankara facility by adding 100 square meters in addition to the existing space in order to start the assembly and integration of the “national 1MM connector.”  Today we are glad to say that Turkey’s first indigenous national 1 MM micro connector is 100% assembled in Turkey.  We have now completed the first stage of our strategy and want to go to the next step which is to produce & design locally.  As a matter of fact, we already have a lot of customers who benefit from the advantages of our 1MM connector in their projects.

Defence Turkey: Dear Mr.NICOLLIN, during the launch meeting, Nicomatic Turkey Office General Manager Idris DUMLU said “Our goal is to be producing 100% Turkish design and production patented micro connectors by focusing on R&D and then present it to the international market. Of course, it won’t be easy to accomplish this ambitious goal as Nicomatic Turkey, but we believe that we will achieve our goal with the support of Nicomatic Group”. Within the context of this statement, as it seems, Nicomatic group has placed importance on the potential of Nicomatic Turkey. Can you share your approach and vision about the activities in Turkey?

Oliver NICOLLIN: Turkey is one of the most interesting and fast evolving markets in the region in which we want to strengthen our local footprint to better serve our customers with our broad portfolio of solutions and best in class services.

Before sharing my vision about the future, we should remember what Turkey achieved in the defence industry for more than 50 years. Turkey showed us to what extent it could make significant contributions in regional stability and international peace by its own capacity. Since that day, Turkey invested in the defence industry by collaborating with Europe and its regional partners. Today, Turkey has world-known firms in the defence industry and still shows its intention to be a regional power. As Nicomatic Turkey, we see Turkey as an important market and share same motivation with Turkish authorities. In the coming years, you will witness that Turkey will be one of the top countries in terms of the defence industry and Nicomatic Turkey will be one of Turkey’s most reliable partners, not only in the defence industry but also in various other industries. 

Since the begining of this adventure, Idris DUMLU Managing Director of Nicomatic Turkey wanted to become a value added subsidiary by providing new know-how/expertise to our existing product ranges and contribute to the growth of Nicomatic Group.

Thanks to its vision, we are now entering a new stage as Nicomatic Turkey and Nicomatic Group.

As stated before we will transfer our accumulation to Turkey not only financially but also through technology transfer. We are ready to produce national products here with Nicomatic Turkey. We brought our ‘Microflex’ flexible harness product here which Nicomatic Turkey will present to all of Europe. We will take the first step here to offer this product not only to our Turkish business partners but also to international markets. As a result of our studies, we will introduce a 100% Turkish made product.

As Nicomatic Group we always support subsidiaries like Turkey who want to push and move forward in order to achieve their goals.  Within 5 years, we hope to be able to produce world-known products which are designed and integrated in Turkey.  

Defence Turkey: Dear Mr.DUMLU, Nicomatic Group 2mm and 1,27mm connectors have been procured for customers in the defence industry for a long time. Besides, the 1mm connector stands out to occupy 40% less space on the Printed Circuit Board and it is 60% lighter compared to other connectors with the same pin numbers. What comments can you make about the outstanding capability of this connector in comparison with similar products?

İdris DUMLU: The 1MM Connector stands out for its compact size, light-weight, low profile, high-quality performance, short delivery time and non ITAR product. We designed our product with this approach in Turkey and consider it as an effective solution for harsh environment design. We are talking about a technically compact MOTS (Military off-the-shelf) product. The size and height of a connector occupy on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) are crucial. The 1MM Connector will provide the small size and height values requested by the customer. The second advantage is that it is light, especially in the case of embedded systems, weight is very important. The light-weight will result in less energy consumption. The Defence Industry has the most extreme conditions in the Aerospace Sector. You need to manufacture high temperature, vibration, shock, moisture, and radiation-resistant products. The 1MM Connector is designed and tested according to MIL-DLT-83513 military standards. We are also able to produce and deliver our products in a very short time. For example; We can deliver our CMM product within a period of five days. Our goal here is to deliver a 1MM connector within 24 hours after ordering.

Defence Turkey: There are no restrictions and end-user declaration for your products and both of the 1mm connectors are to be manufactured in Turkey.  The other series are produced in France.  Your products are entirely ITAR-Free. Would you like to make any comments about this, as far as advantages, challenges etc.? 

İdris DUMLU: That’s a really good point…Today if you want to export your products, you have to limit your dependence to the ITAR component. For instance, if a defence system contains at least one component under ITAR regulation, the United States has the power to prohibit its export sale to a third country. That’s why more and more European countries want to reduce their dependence on ITAR components in Defence in order to not hinder the export of their programs.  As you said, all Nicomatic products are manufactured in France and Turkey, they are not submitted to ITAR regulation which gives freedom to the end user to export his program to a third country.

Defence Turkey: What is your vision for the next decade? 

İdris DUMLU: Today, the world is on the edge of transformation. The world economy is structurally changing and becoming more and more digital. We perceive different challenges and significant signs that tomorrow’s Defence and Aeronautics industries will be more demanding. So, as a global connector solution provider, we have to be ready for this digital transformation in order to be in line with customers and market expectations.

To prepare the future, we are planning our strategy according to 3 horizons (short, medium, long term) to optimize our current systems and to ensure our core skills in preparation for a future business model.

Our ambition is to target long term growth by optimizing our current business positions and enlarging our activities (countries,markets, products) by selling products and services too.

The world is changing we are too!

Defence Turkey: Lastly, would you like to convey any further messages to our readers?

İdris DUMLU: First of all I would like to thank you the readers for the time they have invested in reading this interview.  Then I want to sincerely and officially thank the Defence Turkey team for the opportunity you have given to us for sharing Nicomatic’s ambition in the Turkish Defence market.

At Nicomatic we build high performance micro modular connectors for harsh environments. But more than that we provide trust,confidence and security to our customers.

Thanks to our continuous improvement quality culture, we work hard to develop creative solutions that improve signal integrity, speed, reliability and performance.

From deep waters to Mars our connector solutions deliver electronic devices electrical power, signals for data transmissions and high frequency for communications systems.

In brief, try the Nicomatic experience!